Amazon is no longer selling a self-published guide for pedophiles, the Associated Press reports. It wasn’t clear whether Amazon.com Inc. had pulled the item, or whether the author withdrew it. The author, Phillip R. Greaves II of Pueblo, Co., declined comment through a representative.
The availability of the book calls into question whether Amazon has any procedures — or even an obligation — to vet books before they are sold in its online stores. The book triggered has outrage from commenters on sites such as Twitter. Two petitions on Facebook alone won more than 13,500 supporters. Christopher Finan of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression said Amazon has the right under the First Amendment to sell any book that is not child pornography or legally obscene. Finan said Greaves’ book doesn’t amount to either because it does not include illustrations.